What’s Up, Doc?

October 3, 2012

Most identity thieves steal personal information simply for monetary gain. While taking your money and defrauding businesses is bad, there are worse things. For example, you could be seen by a doctor who does not even know how to practice medicine properly. You could be seen by Ernest Addo.

Addo was arrested on August 24 in Georgia for impersonating his friend who was spending a year in Africa. He not only took on his friend’s identity, but he used his medical license to treat more than 400 patients in senior centers before it was caught. The only one in the medical office who seemed to notice his lack of experience was one nurse who saw him research a treatment plan by using the search engine

Law enforcement officials assume that Addo’s motive was greed; he wanted to get money from the patients. Research is now being done to determine if anyone was harmed due to getting medical treatment from him. It is noted that some of his patients died, and that he wrote prescriptions, even keeping some for himself.

Addo was found out because of a minor mistake he made on a death certificate. Health officials contacted the real doctor, who told them that he was out of the country and that he had been for some time. Otherwise, he could have continued to practice without his victim being any the wiser.

This may not be his first fake profession either. He is tagged as a professional con man. However, law enforcement declined to release any further details at this time. Addo also opened credit cards in his friend’s name.

This case illustrates how one small case of identity theft can blossom into something affecting hundreds or even thousands of people. That’s why it is so important to stop identity theft before it can go on for a long period of time or involve a large sum of money. That’s what makes identity theft protection plans so important. Every American should have some way to keep their information safe.